By Nixosia
One shot

Note: I needed to write something eventually. This is what I came up with. There's really no explanation for this one, it just sort of happened, but I hope everyone likes it.

R&R? It makes me smile.

We stared at each other.

I saw his eyes, recognized the color of them as unique even though "there's nothing special about brown." My eyes were the only thing that ever garnered a compliment when I was younger, but they're not that special either. Blue is only special because it isn't a color one sees very often in the inner city. Blue is cold, and indifferent, and alone. Blue is only beautiful because it's almost exotic in an area where Caucasian is minority. His eyes may have been plain, they may have been common, but I couldn't think of a better color.

His were warm and inviting. His welcomed me home and beckoned me into his arms. His offered comfort at times when I was unaware that comforting was necessary, because his eyes seemed to see everything. His eyes demanded a healing honesty when my soul was too wounded to seek it out. His eyes sought the truth when it was carefully packed away. His eyes took me in when I was too afraid to approach. I don't see how mine could do anything but push him away. It was as though he could hear my thoughts, but he didn't say a word about it. He moved close, but didn't kiss me. He wrapped his arms around me instead.

I saw his lips curve into a smile in my peripheral vision, and if I looked close enough I could see just a hint of teeth. I didn't know how to tell him how beautiful he is when he smiles, because men aren't beautiful. They're not allowed to be for some reason and "handsome" isn't something I can naturally say. It always feels fake and forced, as though the speaker doesn't really mean what they say. I don't ever want to be anything but real with him. I didn't know how to tell him, so I didn't say anything at all.

I substituted words with a tighter hug because it's the only emotional expression I can ever seem to handle. Sometimes I can't even smile for him, but I'm not sure why. He says I'm beautiful when I smile. He takes my chin when I look away. He reassures me. He loves me. But I'm not even close to what he deserves. He deserves someone better than I ever will be, more beautiful than I can ever manage. He deserves the best but he settles for second rate and I'll never truly understand it.

He had the chance for escape once before. He had the opportunity to be with and do whatever he wanted. He was free because there was no obligation to me. We were not together and he could have done anything he wanted, but somehow he still wanted me. I can't begin to guess why, but I also can't begin to complain. I wouldn't dare. He's the best person I've ever met, the most influential, and I don't regret a thing about our relationship – the good nor the bad.

Sometimes I can't help feeling that, if I asked him to, he'd move mountains for me. I can't help thinking that if he asked I'd drain the sea. I realized this standing against the railing on a boat, staring at fireworks in the darkening night as he put his jacket over my shoulders. I've been cold before, but no man has ever made such a gesture. No man has ever abandoned personal comfort in exchange for chivalry for me. It made me feel special, and it made me feel cared for as he helped me put the jacket on and wrapped his arms around my waist.

"I love you."

I didn't say it, but I thought it and it was startling. It wasn't the first time the phrase has passed my mind in reference to him. Once it almost slipped out, and I instinctively shut down. Love is vulnerability verbatim, and it's frightening to be vulnerable. More than once that night I steeled myself to say it. I told myself that he needed to know, because it wasn't any fair that he was functioning under the belief that his love was unrequited. It wasn't any fair, but at the end of the night I left him with a kiss and a well wish, nothing more.

I don't know why it's so hard to say, because love isn't a word that's foreign to me. I love people. I love a lot of people; my family and my friends. I do love him. But I suppose there is the difference between loving someone and being in love with someone. I've been tricked by my heart before, but at least I understand that. It was the adolescent need to be accepted by the only boy my own age that had ever shown the slightest bit of interest in me. It was the obsession with the concept of love, obsessed with the idea of an ideal young love. It backfired. I was burned, and now I'm confused.

When I asked how a person knows if they're in love, I was told that "you just know." Do people realize how unhelpful that is? How does he know that he loves me? He's never felt this way about anyone else, I understand that. I've never felt this way about anyone before either. But I'm afraid that I may be mistaken. I've made mistakes in my life, but I don't want this to be one of them. He deserves so much more than me, and I'm afraid to be in love with him.

But it's true that I've never felt an emotion so strong. He makes me nervous, but it the fluttering of abdominal butterflies that one gets before taking their first step into a new situation, because with him everything is a new situation. Everything is so new with him. Everything is a risk that I've never been happier to take. Everything is so wonderful and terrifying, beautiful and daunting. It's old and new in the same instant, but in my heart I know that if I'm holding his hand it will be alright.

His eyes tell me that everything will be alright, and his smile agrees. They pull me into him like the light in the darkness, and while I'm afraid I'm willing to try. He deserves so much more than I can ever give him, but if I'm what he wants then I just have to be the best me I can. He's never tried to turn me into what I'm not, and I know he won't. I don't want him to be anything than what he is. So together we can be ourselves. I don't know what more I could ask for.

And when we stare at each other, I wonder what thoughts lay behind his comforting eyes. I ponder the meaning behind his beautiful smile. I wonder, and ponder, and question and when I'm finally pulled back to earth I realize that we're both human beings, and he probably has the same insecurities that I do. I'll never know exactly what he's thinking, but in case he's just as afraid as me I wrap my arms around him and let my embrace speak the words I cannot say.